Chapter 8 – Selfish
"Has he packed up his shit and left yet?!" I hear my father's voice bark out harshly followed by a door slam.
I can't open my eyes though. I can only hear the conversation going on around me.
"Yes, Alpha. The boy’s cousin got back to us and he is going to live there now." I hear the beta James reply.
I wonder who they are speaking about?
"I don't want that boy anywhere near this pack again! I will not have my daughter be put in danger!" I hear my father yell out.
I remember my father and Carter yelling at me about the bruise before everything went dark and I guess I passed out or something…
Did he find out that it was all Carter’s fault? Maybe he has actually banished him from the pack like he did with Ian? This is too good to be true.
"Alpha, why did you spare him? Especially for what he did to Leoni?" I hear James ask curiously.
"Oh, believe me… if he hadn't told me that his cousin was the Alpha King then I would have killed him in a heartbeat… but that would have only declared a war." I hear my father reply bitterly.
Woah? Carter was cousins with the Alpha king? Rumors say he is the cruelest Alpha of all. He runs the largest, strongest pack in the world – The Blood Royal's Pack.
Our pack is the second largest pack around and my father made an alliance with the King a few years ago which I know he would hate to lose.
If Carter is the Alpha king’s cousin, then we can't kill him. It's simple really. The king is too strong…
"I'm just glad that she has Carter in her life now." I hear my father sigh out again, making my heart stop in the process.
Wait what? He's glad I have Carter?
Hold up? I'm so confused! I thought they were literally just talking about banishing Carter from the pack?
If they haven't banished Carter then who the heck has that bastard framed?
"I guess so… the young boy had all the evidence against him… He was found with Leoni's shoes from the party in his bedroom, right?" I hear James ask now.
No this can't be happening! It can't be!
"Yes, and he was the one who told me Leoni would not be attending the rest of the party that night too… the little bastard was trying to cover his tracks and I didn't even notice!" I hear my father spit out in complete rage.
Carter has framed Adam! He has gotten Adam banished from this pack!! This can't be real! It can't be!
Now what friends do I have? The real monster is still here! The real monster is still marrying me and my father thinks that he is a hero!
I fight to wake up with every bit of strength I could muster. I have to tell my father the truth! If it weren't for Adam being cousins with the Alpha king then he would be dead right now!
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
I try to move at least one body part but nothing happens. I can't give up! Come on, Leoni! You can do this!
"There's movement, doctor!" I hear a female’s voice call out eventually, after what felt like hours of struggling.
It must be working! Come on, Leoni! Push! Wake up! Just open your eyes!
I try harder to push and I can hear the sounds of people rushing around the room.
My senses are slowly becoming clearer. The smell of freshly made toast and coffee intrudes my nostrils and everything suddenly gets a lot louder as if my ears have just popped.
I focus on waking up for a few more minutes and eventually it feels like a huge crushing weight has been lifted from my body and I suddenly feel a lot lighter.
My body starts to tingle all over and I attempt to wriggle my fingers, seeing that I can finally move them again and with this I slowly peel my eyes open.
I flinch from the bright light hanging above me but the doctor or nurse soon notices and shuts it off allowing me to open my eyes fully.
I adjust my eyes to the room I am in and it's the pack doctor’s room. I must have come here when I passed out.
My father and James are the only two people in here along with the doctor and nurse. I'm guessing my mother is attending to pack duties since my father is absent.
"How long have I been out?" I ask groggily, as a nurse hands me a cup of water.
"Two days." The doctor replies and I nearly spit my water out everywhere. I've been unconscious for two whole days? What the heck!
"Doctor leave us." My father commands and without argument the doctor and nurse leave the room silently.
Shit Adam! I almost forgot about the whole reason that I had wanted to get up so bad!
"Father! No! It's not… I mean it… he… it's not him…" I rush out at my Dad, not making any sense at all.
"Leoni, slow down!" He commands and I take in a long, slow breath and sigh.
"Dad, it's not… it wasn't Adam who beat me up! It was… it was Carter!" I rush out at him again and his expression doesn't falter like I had expected it to.
I mean he just found out my mate has been abusing me… why isn't he angry?
James however seems shocked as his mouth drops open into an 'O' shape and he glances at me and then back at my father.
"Leoni, sweetheart…" my father grits out, sounding as if he's trying desperately to contain his rage.
"Adam is gone forever and he can't hurt you anymore so you don't have to lie…" He finishes and James' face goes back to normal, satisfied with my father's reason for what I just told them.
Did he just call me a liar? He believes Carter's bullshit but I'm the liar? I'm his daughter for crying out loud!
My eyes well up with tears but I hold them back. All I ever do is cry!
"Adam was my only friend… and you sent him away!" I suddenly yell at my father who seems startled. I never yell but boy am I pissed off right now.
"Leoni, do not raise your voice at me! A friend is not someone who hurts you! He is gone now! You can't make up stories and throw your own mate under the bus when we have evidence of it being Adam! Enough! Stop being so selfish child!" My father bellows in his Alpha tone and I immediately bow my head at him as a sign of submission.
He has never shouted directly at me for something let alone used his Alpha tone on me.
Nobody believes me? And the only person who knew the truth has been banished.
"Come, James." My father says coldly as he rises from his seat and exits the room. James follows him of course and I am left here alone.
Always left alone.
I search frantically for my phone and it's nowhere to be seen. Damn, it must be in my room!
I hear the door handle turn and my eyes divert toward the door. I watch as the one idiot I didn't want to see right now enters the room holding what looks like coffee in his hand.
The bold, smart, sneaky Carter.
He closes the door making me flinch, before taking the seat closest to me. He can't be serious. I've just woke up and he's here to traumatize me again.
There is so many things I wish I could yell at him right now but my mouth won't allow it.
"How are you feeling, babe?" He asks softly as he takes my hand in his, making me freeze.
Babe? How am I feeling? I'm feeling freakin’ shit thanks for asking!
Of course, I don't say these thoughts aloud but instead I just stare at him in confusion as I feel my body turn ice cold.
"I came to apologize to you for everything… I obviously want you as my beautiful mate, Leoni, and I fucked up the first couple of days… I didn't want to lose you so I had to frame your precious little friend… he was just an easy target, you know?" He trails off and I feel my body temperature rise back up in rage.
"You can't b-be serious?" I stutter out in complete disbelief.
The next thing he does is completely mind-blowing… he lets go of my hand and stops for a moment before letting out a deathly, dark chuckle.
"Of course I'm not serious! I just couldn't lose my one shot at becoming the Alpha… I don't care about your ugly, fat self at all but like I said before, you come as part of the package cupcake despite the fact that your looks make me feel sick…" He admits giving me an evil grin.
To think he actually had me fooled for a slight little moment. I thought that maybe he was actually trying to apologize. But no.
"I'll see you later… I have to help your mother with the wedding arrangements… after all it's only 12 more days away…" He says darkly as he stands from the chair.
He begins to walk away before stopping suddenly in his tracks making me gulp.
"I almost forgot… I brought you coffee." He turns to me grinning with the cup in hand.
He approaches me and holds the cup out to me but I don't make any move to take it from him. "Take it!" He barks and I immediately reach out my hand to take the cup from him.
Before my fingertips touch the cup, he suddenly tips it upside down and scolds my bare arm with the freshly made, boiling coffee drink. I yell out in pain as he places the cup down and exits the room like nothing has happened.
My eyes flood with tears as I cry out for help to fix my third-degree burn that Carter just gave me. To my surprise a nurse enters the room in a hurry and comes to me frantically.
"Oh dear, Carter just told me that you managed to spill coffee on yourself, let me freeze it for you then we will get it wrapped up in a bandage. This is certain to leave a mark, I'm afraid." The nurse explains as she places cooling water on my arm before beginning to wrap it.
He's so damn sneaky.
My sobs die down eventually, but unfortunately the pain on my arm doesn't. I've just woken up in a hospital bed and the abuse has begun already.
The worst part now is that he has even won my mother over so I can't go and talk to her about it.
Was I just to sit here and be miserable for the rest of my life? Nothing makes me happy anymore? Turning 18 was the worst day of my life.
"Hey, Leoni! Wanna know what will still make you happy?… how about a run?" I hear my wolf Leah suggest and the thought of going a run in wolf form warms my heart slightly. I love running.
I decide that I'll give it a shot knowing that it will clear my head for a while, so I hop down from the bed only to discover that my legs are numb.
I grip onto the side of a small table and steady myself. I try to take a few steps forward and stumble slightly in the process. I have my hospital gown on and no shoes but I have bigger problems right now other than the clothing choice.
I open the door to reveal the hallway in the pack doctor’s house. I see a few nurses but I know that I can get away with leaving early since I’m the Alpha’s daughter.
I make my way down toward the front door barefooted and I open the door to only be met with James standing on the porch. SHIT.
"Leoni… I don't think your father wanted you to leave just yet." James tells me sternly.
He is younger than my father, he is 38 but he makes an excellent beta and has always been kind to me.
"I'm going for a run, I won't be long." I tell him and he looks at me questioningly.
"Well, Leoni. I’m afraid that I will have to assist you or else your father will kill me later." He tells me half jokily and I sigh out slightly in frustration.
"Fine." I tell him and he follows me toward the woods. I don't care if he has to babysit me, I'll do anything for a run.
"You do know you have no shoes on, right?" He asks me jokily and I give him a soft smile.
I try to ignore the cold crunching grass beneath me as I walk, knowing that it will all be worth it in the end.
Once we reach the woods I don't even bother to remove my hospital gown and instead I just shift into my wolf tearing the dress and bandage in the process.
The shift was fairly painful as each of my bones cracked into position slower than usual. Since I haven't shifted in a while it hurts more than it normally would for an average wolf.
I look down to see my beautiful white paws beneath me on the forest floor; however, my right arm is still red and blistered from the coffee incident and it hurts even more in wolf form.
I'm slightly bigger than an average female wolf since I am the Alphas daughter but on the other hand I'm not very strong.
Well maybe I am strong? I don't really know because I've never been trained or had to defend myself and truthfully, violence scares me.
I look up to see that James has also shifted into his fiery red wolf. He is slightly bigger than me since he is a male and is also the beta.
I jump around excitedly ignoring my aching arm before I take off running into the trees knowing that James is close behind me.
The air beats off of my face as I run and the smell of the forest calms me greatly. It's amazing how free and happy I feel right now despite everything that's going on.
I run for about 40 minutes and James is a short distance behind me. I guess he's trying to give me some space to run.
I reach my destination- the lake. I always loved coming here with Willow but I guess that can't happen anymore…
I wonder how James feels about Willow leaving home. She is his daughter after all and they were always close.
I stop to take a drink from the water and to my delight Its extremely cold and refreshing. I flop myself down beside the lake and allow myself time to think.
I could just run away? My wolf is a pretty good runner and I could probably escape if I got a good head start from the guards?
I can't stay here for much longer. I just can't. The marriage and the whole mate thing aren’t for me. I hate mates. They are just horrible greedy people.
I need to leave. There’re no more friends to trust or even family for that matter.
Minutes later I hear rustling and see James emerge from the trees. He takes a drink just like I had done and then he sits beside me catching his breath.
We just sit here for a further ten minutes in a calming silence before he mind-links me telling me we should probably head back.
I nod in agreement and we both take off running again back to the pack house.
Little does he know that I'm only going back to plan my escape.